REVIEWS

 

STATELESS IN SHANGHAI


Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: China Economic Review Publishing Ltd (January 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9881815487
ISBN-13: 978-9881815484
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1 inches

Price: $19.99

 


 

 

"When I first read Liliane Willens' manuscript I was especially intrigued by the breadth of her story. It was one of the few narratives I had read that covered a Westerner's life in China, not only in the more fabled golden era of Shanghai but also during the difficult early period of the Communist rule. [...] Many books have been written both about Shanghai in its hey-day and under Japanese occupation, but very few foreigners stayed on to witness the post-Communist era. [...] As an on-site witness, Liliane has given us a rare and fascinating account of the slow demise of a once-powerful foreign city on the improbable shore of China."

Postscript by Tess Johnston (page 305 of Stateless in Shanghai)




"The author’s descriptions of wartime Shanghai vividly convey the fear and paranoia running rampant throughout the city. She remembers being “ill at ease seeing so many Japanese soldiers carrying guns that seemed oversized in comparison to their generally small stature.” Things don’t improve after the Japanese leave. Willens recalls strict curfews and laws put into effect when the PRC was formed. [...] Willens is able to offer a unique, foreign, firsthand perspective on the birth of the PRC."

Review by Andrea Scarlatelli in City Weekend (Shanghai), March 26,2010.





"Shanghai is again known as China’s “global city,” but Willens’ memoir reminds readers of the price it once had to pay for its colonial past."

From: Bostonia - The Alumni Magazine of Boston University - Fall 2010, p. 57.





"The wealthy Sephardic Jews who had arrived in China in the 19th century "couldn't even communicate with Russian Jews who came around the turn of the 20th century, but helped them nonetheless. And later, she notes, those Russian Jews, in turn, helped the Jewish refugees from Nazi-controlled Europe."

From: Leibel, Aaron "Life of colonial privilege". Washington Jewish Week 10 June 2010.





"The afterword in which Dr. Willens recalls her return visit to China 45 years after she left in 1951 is a wonderful bonus. Dr. Willens' excellent, fascinating personal story, Stateless in Shanghai, has reinforced my appreciation of her generation and at the same time provided me with new insights into understanding an important period of modern Chinese history and the role the United States, Great Britain, and France played in it."

From a review by Carla Danziger, on amazon.com.





"This fascinating book tells the tale of revolution and how it affects the life of an individual and her family as they endure the limitations imposed by global politics beyond their control. Dr. Willens' lively descriptions of life in China before the cultural revolution, along with the experience of leaving her homeland will keep any reader absorbed until the final chapter."

From a review by Roxanne Quimby, on amazon.com.





"Stateless in Shanghai is engrossing and easy to read. This sweeping memoir by a most remarkable woman is packed with spell-binding insights and compelling historical information. Willens expertly weaves a mix of jaw-dropping and life-affirming stories. An excellent gift that will inspire readers of all backgrounds and ages."

From a review by E. Greene, on amazon.com.